Fire Professor for Alleged Racist Online Comments

Target: Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University

Goal: Fire professor who allegedly made a number of racist anti-black comments online.

Black people need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and just work harder to overcome racism, according to comments reportedly made by North Carolina’s white Duke University professor Jerry Hough.  This kind of racist attitude cannot be tolerated in the halls of our nation’s institutions of higher education. Demand that Professor Hough be fired at once.

In the comment section of an online New York Times editorial about the recent uprising in Baltimore over Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody, Hough went off on tangent about what he thought of the state of racism against African Americans in today’s America. Among other things, Hough said that “blacks” are feeling “sorry for themselves” and not working “doubly hard” to get out from the clutches of anti-black racism, that “blacks” don’t want to be integrated into American society because they have “strange new names,” and that “blacks” need to start dating more white people.

Hough, accepting responsibility for the online comments in email correspondences with media outlets, refused to back down from them, saying that “I am strongly against the obsession with ‘sensitivity.’ The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident.”

Though Hough is currently on leave from Duke University for the duration of this academic year, reports say that he will be back to teach next year. Demand that Duke leadership fire Professor Hough for his racist remarks at once.


Dear President Brodhead,

I am writing you today regarding Professor Jerry Hough and the comments he recently made online about black people. To be frank, his comments were so incredibly inappropriate that they should outright bar him from teaching at your university any longer.

Hough’s comments reflect what seem to be deep-seated personal biases against African Americans. Calling them “blacks,” saying that they have just not worked hard enough to get out from the binds of discrimination, suggesting that they need to stop using such “strange names” if they want to properly integrate into American society, and intimating that they are too busy feeling sorry for themselves to do anything positive are all, unfortunately, very common racist assertions.

As many African Americans have already pointed out, his comments were at once extremely patronizing and extremely anti-black. He cannot be trusted to teach in an effective, impartial way. I demand that you fire Professor Hough at once over his ridiculously offensive remarks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Veggies

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